Next step for Cross River Rail welcomed, but funding uncertainty remains primary issue
The Property Council of Australia has welcomed the release of details from the Cross River Rail business case and an initial funding commitment of $800m by the Queensland Government.
“I think it is fair to say that all stakeholders have been eagerly awaiting Building Queensland’s analysis of this project,” says Queensland Executive Director of the Property Council, Chris Mountford.
“Everyone is well aware that the city’s rail network has a serious looming capacity constraint and that we need to invest in a long-term solution.
“This project is not just about facilitating the movement of people, it is critical infrastructure if we are to increase the productivity of the south east and unlock significant economic growth opportunities.
“We understand that Building Queensland’s business case shows a positive economic return from investing in this project. It has also been acknowledged as a priority project by many experts, including Infrastructure Australia.
“And while it is pleasing today to see the Queensland Government commit a further $800m to this project, the funding equation means that we are still a long way from this project becoming a reality.
"At the risk of stating the obvious, today’s funding commitment equates to less than one sixth of the total project cost of $5.4 billion.
“And while we acknowledge there is some potential for the government to partner with property owners around stations and along the corridor to generate additional urban renewal, uplift and funding opportunities, so called ‘value capture’ activities will not come anywhere near plugging the current funding gap.
“The lion’s share of this project needs to be paid for by government if it is to proceed.
“Therefore funding remains a seemingly insurmountable barrier to this project moving out of the planning phase and into construction.
“We acknowledge that the Queensland Government is moving to establish a Delivery Authority which will have the primary responsibility for to look more closely at private sector involvement in the project.
“We look forward to being part of these discussions over the coming months,” Mr Mountford said.